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Food Not Bombs Under Attack at Its 4 PM Saturday Feeding on the Main Post Office Steps
Arriving with warnings and cameras, two uniformed officers threatened Food Not Bombs workers with criminal actions today for staffing a table distributing meals to hungry and homeless people. The sergeant noted he'd be forwarding information to District Attorney Bob Lee's office for further action and interrogated several of the workers there while photographing those eating, those serving, and those watching. I sent the following letter to Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry:
From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: foodnotbombs [at] earthlink.net
Subject: FNB in Santa Cruz Under Attack
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2013 22:38:32 -0800
A police officer and his sergeant superior appeared at the main post office steps today shortly after 4 PM where Food Not Bombs was doing its weekly feeding.
The officer advised the FNBers that they were "trespassing" (though the post office was open; people were coming in and out; the meal was set off too the side in an area not traveled by the usual customers; and FNB workers noted a previous encounter with Sgt. Azua had seemed to establish there were no violations of the law happening). He took a number of photos of the workers, who continued to feed people (30-40 people came through by my casual count in the hour or two that FNB was there). Santa Cruz FNB had been serving at the post office for the last month.
A sergeant arriving afterwards sought names and information from the workers and stated they were "gathering evidence of trespass" at the request of the postmaster.
Several of the workers were upset by this police intervention. A number of those served were scared or angry. The meal continued, but with significant consternation.
The police seemed to indicate they would be returning.
I would encourage you to alert other FNB activists that this is happening in Santa Cruz and they may need support against legal or extralegal police action that seems to now be on the horizon.
I'll be playing some audio of this on my radio show tomorrow between 9:30 AM and 10:30 AM at 101.3 FM, streaming at http://tunein.com/radio/FRSC-s47254/ , and archived at http://www.radiolibre.org/brb/brb130120.mp3 (about 2 1/2 hours into the audio file).
Please all in (831-427-3772) if you have any suggestions any time before 1 PM PST.